03.30.15

SCHUMER, GILLIBRAND ANNOUNCE $500K IN FED FUNDS AWARDED TO SOUTHERN TIER STARTUP ALLIANCE – SCHUMER, GILLIBRAND PUSHED FOR FUNDS THAT WILL SUPPORT ENTREPRENEURS DEVELOPING NEW PRODUCTS AND IDEAS

S. Tier Startup Alliance Will Now Bring Together Companies Like Corning & Institutions Like Cornell & Binghamton Universities to Grow Entrepreneurship In The Region 

Schumer & Gillibrand Supported Effort Will Combine The Region’s Strengths In Engineering, Materials Science, And Manufacturing With Cutting-Edge Business Incubation, Acceleration And Entrepreneurship 

Schumer, Gillibrand: Federal Investment in the Southern Tier Startup Alliance Will Support Creation, Innovation, Commercialization For Area Entrepreneurs

 

Today, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand announced $500,000 in federal funding for the Southern Tier Startup Alliance, a collaboration between Binghamton University, Cornell University, Corning Inc., and the Ceramics Corridor Innovation Center. These federal funds will help to support the Alliance’s development of a Hardware Entrepreneurship Ecosystem (HEE) in the Southern Tier. In February, Schumer wrote a letter to the federal Economic Development Administration (EDA) urging the agency to award the Southern Tier Startup Alliance this $500,000 – to be awarded over two years – to support their efforts, which would then come with a match from New York State and the applicant, bring the total funding to $879,000. Senator Gillibrand also wrote EDA in December 2014. The total project will cost $1.379 million over the two years, and Schumer and Gillibrand said these federal funds are critical to getting this project off the ground.

“This federal funding is great news for job-creating entrepreneurs throughout the Southern Tier who will now benefit from the Startup Alliance’s ambitious plan to get product-manufacturing businesses off the ground. I was proud to push for this federal funding and am pleased the EDA has made this wise investment in Southern Tier businesses and jobs,” said Senator Schumer. “The Southern Tier Startup Alliance’s plan will boost the economy and companies like Corning and institutions like Cornell and Binghamton University will now be able to provide the perfect environment for this innovation hub to take off.”

“I fought for this critical funding that will boost manufacturing in the Southern Tier by combining the region’s strength with cutting-edge business incubation, acceleration, and entrepreneurship” said Senator Gillibrand. “I’ll continue to push for funding that leverages the region’s strong research university and private sector assets to spur economic development and job growth in the Southern Tier.”

“This EDA award leverages the Southern Tier’s historical strengths in advanced manufacturing – we have great engineering programs at Binghamton University and Cornell, and a longstanding history of bringing high tech products to market through companies like BAE, Corning, Lockheed, Raymond, and others,” said Harvey Stenger, President of Binghamton University, co-chair of the Southern Tier Regional Economic Development Council and member of the executive steering committee of the Southern Tier Startup Alliance:. “This award dovetails nicely with the work we’re doing through the Regional Economic Development Council to support both entrepreneurship and advanced manufacturing as focus points for the region."

“We have seen a lot of interest in what we call ‘the entrepreneurship of making things’. New York's Southern Tier is a great place to start and grow a company – particularly one that makes physical products, which is why we’re seeing tremendous interest in our SBA-funded Hardware Accelerator program that we’re piloting this summer,” said Ken Rother, Entrepreneur in Residence of the Southern Tier Startup Alliance.

Schumer and Gillibrand explained that the Hardware Entrepreneurship Ecosystem will leverage the investment of New York State, Cornell University, Binghamton University, and Corning, Inc. in the Southern Tier Startup Alliance. He explained further that the Small Business Administration’s investment in the pilot “Southern Tier Hardware Accelerator” program at Rev: Ithaca Startup Works, will also facilitate product entrepreneurship in central New York. This ecosystem will now combine the region’s strengths in engineering, materials science, and manufacturing with cutting-edge business incubation-and-acceleration and entrepreneurship to quicken the development of product-oriented startups and grow the region’s economy and employment. This project will help re-establish the identity of the Southern Tier as a great place to start and grow a product-manufacturing company.

The Startup Alliance is a member organization of five business incubators: Incubator Works- Corning, The Center: Built for Small Business Growth,   The McGovern Family Center for Venture Development in the Life Sciences, Rev: Ithaca Startup Works and the Startup Suites at Binghamton University, soon to be the Southern Tier High Tech Incubator.

Schumer pushed for these funds in February 2015 through the EDA’s i6 challenge, which is a multi-agency grant that encourages and rewards innovative, groundbreaking ideas that accelerate technology commercialization, new venture formation, job creation, and economic growth across the United States.

Copies of Senator Schumer’s initial letter to the EDA as well as Senator Gillibrand’s letter appear below:

Dear Administrator Williams:

I am pleased to write in support of the Southern Tier Innovation Hot Spot’s application to the Economic Development Administration (EDA) i6 Challenge.

The Southern Tier has unparalleled assets to support a resurgence in American manufacturing. In Cornell and Binghamton University it has two world-leading academic institutions with particular skills in engineering and materials science. In Corning Inc. it has a private company with one of the highest rates of research and development spending in New York State. These entities have come together to form the Southern Tier Innovation Hot Spot – an innovative regional collaboration focused on supporting entrepreneurs as they start and grow companies.

Existing resources of the Hot Spot include the cohort-based hardware accelerator program, the pilot of which is currently funded by the U.S. Small Business Administration. At Cornell, the New York State-funded Center for Advanced Technology (CAT) and the state and federally-funded Cornell Center for Materials Research (CCMR) support regional development in advanced materials and manufacturing.  The Hot Spot will combine the region’s strengths with cutting-edge business incubation, acceleration, and entrepreneurship theory and practice to quicken the development of product-oriented startups and grow the region’s economy and employment.

By leveraging existing support structures and assets in developing this ecosystem, the EDA can be part of rekindling American manufacturing in the Southern Tier. I applaud the Southern Tier Innovation Hot Spot for their foresight and sincerely hope the application meets with your approval. 

Thank you for your consideration. For additional information, please do not hesitate to contact my Washington office.

Sincerely,

Charles E. Schumer

United States Senator

Dear Director Kirk,

I write in support of the application submitted by the Southern Tier Innovation Hot Spot (STIHS) for funding from the i6 Challenge Grant administered by the Economic Development Administration (EDA). This funding will support STIHS’s effort to develop, grow, and connect product-oriented entrepreneurs and companies with regional, national and global resources, leading to the creation and expansion of businesses in New York State’s Southern Tier region.

The Southern Tier Innovation Hot Spot is an innovative collaboration focused on supporting entrepreneurs as they start and grow companies. This initiative is a public-private partnership between Cornell University, SUNY Binghamton, Corning Inc., and the Ceramics Corridor Innovation Center. Cornell University and Binghamton University provide the expertise of two world-class academic institutions with strengths in engineering and materials science. Corning Inc. is a private company with one of the most robust traditions of research and development in New York State and the country. These entities came together to form the STIHS, combining the strengths of the four institutions to best benefit the region in improving the support and mentorship of entrepreneurs in the Southern Tier.

The requested funding will help better combine the region’s strengths with cutting-edge business incubation, acceleration, and entrepreneurship. It will support work to quicken the development of product-oriented startups and grow the region’s economy and employment. The STIHS will provide a Hardware Accelerator program, leverage product-oriented regional assets, provide programming to drive and sustain interest among entrepreneurs and the established business community, and connect companies and entrepreneurs to tools and partners with STIHS regional partners to better ensure new businesses have the resources and tools necessary to thrive.

Sincerely,

Kirsten Gillibrand
United States Senator

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